THE NATION: The Dwindling Margin

In Paris, so the story goes, an American was challenged by a Frenchman to a duel. As the challenged party, he had the choice of weapons. His choice—"double-barreled shotguns at 20 paces"—posed such a strong threat of mutual annihilation that the Frenchman called the whole thing off.

Such negative protection is now the principal insurance which the U.S. has against an attack by Soviet strategic bombers. Last week the Russians announced that they have set off a hydrogen bomb explosion. The U.S. Government, within a few hours, confirmed that this was so.* In Washington, Representative W. Sterling Cole called...

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